The mayor of New Orleans has a choice — either he insults us or works with us. Over and above these options, he shouldn’t get to waste our money.
November 10th’s Times Picayune reports that Nagin recently threw a temper tantrum, and snuck in a pat on his own back, owing to the low voter turnout in our last election.
Mayor Ray Nagin said a review of election results showed that the apathy was across the racial board, among black, white, Asian and Hispanic voters alike.
“And you know it was kind of offensive to me, because here I am bustin’ my butt every day and all I’m asking citizens to do is to plug into the democratic process,” the mayor said.
Nagin implored citizens to perform their civic duty and participate in the Nov. 17 runoffs for the council seat and several legislative posts.
Too little too late, C. Ray. Why did you not encourage New Orleanians in their civic duty before the primary elections, when voter participation usually matters the most? Oh, you must have been busting your butt buying a house in one of the wealthiest and whitest suburbs of Dallas or off conducting more business “on behalf of this city,” but you were not in New Orleans with your people.
Again, how dare this mayor accuse his citizens of being lackadaisical when they move on with their lives despite all of the hardships and inspite of his apathy. What has he done to combat New Orleans crime other than embarrass us by calling it our brand and tout extreme measures such as police armed with “latest and greatest” machine guns and in tanks? Why hasn’t he worked on and brought about the cooperation between the DA’s office and NOPD that we implored him for and he promised us back in January? What about the openness and transparency that was to be brought to this office?
Instead he attempts to placate and simultaneously confuse by throwing us a party tonight on the streets of New Orleans.
This dinner will serve as a metaphor for ONE New Orleans, with residents from throughout the city convening at one table. This culminating event is designed to communicate our appreciation for the resilience and strength that our residents have shown.
The city is too broke to afford the office of the new Inspector General, but can pay for this? We are asked to “bring a canned good for our partners at Second Harvest,” while “residents from throughout the city” languish right across from City Hall. New Orleans faces one of its biggest crime crises ever and the street closures caused by the dinner will be fully staffed by NOPD? What kind of enhanced two-faced f***ery is this?
Furthermore, how would the mayor define us? As resilient and strong or too lazy to “plug into the democratic process?” If any New Orleanian falls for this pathetic attempt at faked conviviality two days before the run-off elections, especially the race for the Council At Large seat, perhaps they don’t possess the discernment and civic sense required to be a voter, much less a responsible one, in this city. So, what would the mayor rather have – us literally eating out of his hands or sophisticated citizens who do the right thing? It makes one wonder … for about two seconds.
Whether Ray Nagin is confused or playing us like finely-tuned violins, all of these incidents blooming like allergy-causing dandelions around the man and his words add up to one thing: It’s time for the mayor of New Orleans to step down. That in itself will be a great first step towards City Council’s encouragement of the “ongoing reovery of our city and region.” Short of that, we can expect to sit in traffic tonight while our homeless freeze and youth fearlessly shoot each other up across the city. Merci beaucoup, bien sur.